I was one of those people who always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My grandma used to be a teacher and my mom still is. It seemed to run deep in my blood and so naturally it came at no surprise that I followed long and hard after the dream of becoming a teacher until it became a reality.
However, last Thursday I put the last of my classroom items away into closets, turned in my keys, said my goodbyes, and walked away from that dream. On Friday morning, I woke up as a full-time businesswoman for the first time.
I had a great job. I had wonderful coworkers. I had a good boss. I had children in my class who put a smile on my face. I laughed every single day, sometimes to the point of tears. I absolutely loved being teacher. I went into teaching thinking I was going to change lives and make the world a better place, but I think in turn the children changed my life. Two years ago, I took myself way too seriously, but I’ve learned to laugh at myself. They taught me that life is so precious and to enjoy every single moment of it. They reminded me that it’s okay to get messy. I know I am a better person because of each child that I taught.
So why did I leave….
In August 2010, just barely into the school year, I called on of my best friends up and asked her to meet me for coffee. I can still remember sitting in the coffee shop as I poured out my heart and soul to her. I explained to her this gut feeling that this would be my last year as a teacher. Keep in mind; I had no online shop as the time, no game plan, no reason to leave my wonderful job that I loved. But I knew deep down that something was missing. In January 2011, I found what that missing piece was. I entered into the handmade world with a small business that I had been running through local sales and craft fairs. I started to interact with some of the most kindhearted people there are. My inbox started overflowing with advice, encouragement, love, and wisdom. As customers started trickling in, my heart slowly but surely started to shift. I discovered that I was itching to go home every day just to make orders, to read kind emails, to connect with fellow handcrafters. I had always dreamed of owning my own business, but I always thought it was too far out of the realm of possibilities. However, the more I pursued my business, the more of a reality it became. And at the end of March 2011, I knew that my life was heading in a wildly different direction and that I had found what made my heart skip an extra beat.
It was an incredibly hard decision to leave my job; a decision that I did not take lightly in the least. I wrote a long of lists with pros and cons, I prayed, I asked a lot of people for wisdom. But when it came down to decision time, I realized that I would regret more not taking a chance on myself then staying somewhere where I was comfortable.
I have a lot to learn. A lot of bumps in the road up ahead. But I have absolutely no regrets about it. In the past six months, I feel like I’ve seen myself come alive. I’ve laughed more. I’ve pushed myself harder than I’ve never done so. I’ve skipped around the room in joy. I fist pumped all the time. I’ve been unbelievably overwhelmed with encouragement. I’ve found myself at a loss for words; which is a rarity for those who know me. I have cried over the kindness of complete and total strangers who I now call friends.
I know that this is no easy feat, but I welcome the challenges with open arms. I’m excited about all the people I’ll meet, the friends I’ll make, the places I’ll go, and knowledge and wisdom I’ll gain along the way.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. OWN IT!” -Oprah